Septic tank responsibility can be complex. If you’re an owner-occupier of a property with a septic tank, it’s clear who is responsible for it. Unless of course, it is a shared septic tank which we cover in our guide here.
But if you’re a renter, then what is expected of you as a tenant (and of your landlord) is more complex.
The first thing to do if you’re uncertain of your septic tank responsibilities, is to check your tenancy agreement.
This document may have some terms and conditions about maintaining a septic tank but these might not be specific.
And even if there is a septic tank issue that is the tenant’s responsibility, how can you know if it started during the current occupancy?
If the property has been let out to other tenants previously, this uncertainty could result in serious issues.
When it comes to septic tank tenant responsibilities, anyone moving into a property with one should make sure of their liability.
If serious drainage issues occur due to a faulty tank, a tenant could end up being fined for pollution violations that aren’t necessarily their fault.
For complete peace-of-mind, as a tenant you might want to insist on a septic tank survey prior to moving in, so you’re aware of its current status.
Septic tank landlord responsibilities
If the property you’re letting out has a septic tank, you can avoid potential difficulties or disputes relating to responsibilities for its operation.
As mentioned, the more specific your tenancy agreement is, the better, in terms of clarity and what is expected of you and them.
And specifying a septic tank survey or inspection before someone new moves in may be the simplest way to protect both parties.
To ensure the best health of your septic tank during any rental period, make clear what shouldn’t be flushed down the drains or toilet.
Our recent post for ‘Unblocktober’ offers guidance on items not to flush into a septic tank.
But in general, if you (whether landlord or tenant) need any advice on maintaining a septic tank, speak to a professional.
Any questions about septic tank responsibilities?
The most important thing to remember is that if yours is kept well maintained, then the likelihood of problems is minimised.